In a bizarre situation, a woman has been diagnosed with a type of hearing the loss in which she is unable to hear the voices of men and can only higher frequency tones of other females.
The patient, identified only by her last name, Chen, from the city Xiamen, 416 miles (716 km) away from Hong Kong, on the east coast of China, told the doctors that she woke up one day to find she was unable to hear voices of men, including her boyfriend.
Ms. Chen went straight to Qianpu Hospital in the city and met an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT). The doctor tried to figure out her bizarre symptoms, which were the opposite to more common forms of hearing loss, according to local reports.
Reports claim that the woman was suffering from nausea and ringing in her ears the night before her ordeal. She was able to hear every word the female ENT, according to Dr. Lin Xiaoqing, who treated Ms. Chen. The doctor said: “She was able to hear me when I spoke to her, but when a young male patient walked in, she couldn’t hear him at all.”
She diagnosed her with ‘low-frequency hearing loss’, or reverse-slope hearing loss (RSL), explaining why she was unable to hear deeper sounds. The condition is believed to affect only one in nearly 13,000 patients with hearing problems and is normally difficult to diagnose as most health care professionals are trained to treat high-frequency loss.
RSL affects mainly the lower frequencies. One of the main causes of RSL is genetics. Wolfram syndrome, Mondini dysplasia, and inheritance through a dominant gene have all been identified as sources of RSHL. The symptoms of RSHL include difficulty understanding speech on the phone, understanding the voices of women and children but not men, and the inability to hear low-frequency environmental sounds.
The patient revealed she had been working late recently, putting her body under a lot of stress and not getting enough sleep. Dr. Xiaoqing believes fatigue and the added stress of long days may have contributed to the condition. She and other experts have indicated that it is important to treat such symptoms as quickly as possible, both for a patient’s safety and to improve the quality of life. She expects Ms. Chen to make a full recovery.
Meanwhile, other women on social media joked that they would possibly like to take a break from hearing men’s voices, too.